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The new political geography of Europe

The new political geography of Europe

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The euro crisis has revolutionised politics across Europe, obscured by a focus on what’s happening in Berlin and Brussels. Established political parties are fighting for their lives, and countries have been cast out from the European core to the periphery.

A new collection of essays, edited by Nicholas Walton and Jan Zielonka, examining how the crisis has affected the political dynamics in 14 member states throws a light on the roots of a new political geography in Europe. The chapters – by prominent thinkers, journalists, and academics in the 14 countries – identify the main points of contention and new political forces. The countries covered are France, Portugal, Denmark, Britain, Poland, Italy, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Spain, and Bulgaria.

The collection – “The new political geography of Europe” – does not just look at Europe from the top of the pyramid, but at how EU citizens have been affected by the crisis. It shows how the reshuffling of Europe’s political geography is happening across four dimensions:

Established elites are under extreme pressure from new political forces and populist movements.

The division between core and periphery is growing, with many countries that thought of themselves at Europe’s heart now disenfranchised.

The core is fracturing, with an unbridgeable gap growing between Paris and Berlin, and others happy to veto key proposals for ending the crisis.

There is no shared vision of European integration, despite the growing talk of “political union.”
The euro crisis has revolutionised politics across Europe, obscured by a focus on what’s happening in Berlin and Brussels. Established political parties are fighting for their lives, and countries have been cast out from the European core to the periphery.

A new collection of essays, edited by Nicholas Walton and Jan Zielonka, examining how the crisis has affected the political dynamics in 14 member states throws a light on the roots of a new political geography in Europe. The chapters – by prominent thinkers, journalists, and academics in the 14 countries – identify the main points of contention and new political forces. The countries covered are France, Portugal, Denmark, Britain, Poland, Italy, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Spain, and Bulgaria.

The collection – “The new political geography of Europe” – does not just look at Europe from the top of the pyramid, but at how EU citizens have been affected by the crisis. It shows how the reshuffling of Europe’s political geography is happening across four dimensions:

Established elites are under extreme pressure from new political forces and populist movements.

The division between core and periphery is growing, with many countries that thought of themselves at Europe’s heart now disenfranchised.

The core is fracturing, with an unbridgeable gap growing between Paris and Berlin, and others happy to veto key proposals for ending the crisis.

There is no shared vision of European integration, despite the growing talk of “political union.”

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Published by: ECFR, European Council on Foreign Relations on Jan 22, 2013
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11/24/2013

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edited by
 Nicholas Walton and Jan Zielonka
 THE NEW POLITICAGEOGRAPHY OF EUROPE
 
 ABOUT ECFR
The
European Council on Foreign Relations
(ECFR) isthe first pan-European think-tank. Launched in October2007, its objective is to conduct research and promoteinformed debate across Europe on the developmentof coherent, effective and values-based Europeanforeign policy.ECFR has developed a strategy with three distinctiveelements that define its activities:
 A pan-European Council.
ECFR has brought togethera distinguished Council of over one hundred andseventy Members – politicians, decision makers,thinkers and business people from the EU’s memberstates and candidate countries – which meets oncea year as a full body. Through geographical andthematic task forces, members provide ECFR staff withadvice and feedback on policy ideas and help withECFR’s activities within their own countries. The Councilis chaired by Martti Ahtisaari, Joschka Fischer andMabel van Oranje.
 A physical presence in the main EU member states.
ECFR, uniquely among European think-tanks,has offices in Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome,Sofia and Warsaw. In the future ECFR plans to openan office in Brussels. Our offices are platforms forresearch, debate, advocacy and communications.
 A distinctive research and policy development process.
ECFR has brought together a team of distinguished researchers and practitioners fromall over Europe to advance its objectives throughinnovative projects with a pan-European focus.ECFR’s activities include primary research, publicationof policy reports, private meetings and publicdebates, ‘friends of ECFR’ gatherings in EU capitalsand outreach to strategic media outlets.ECFR is backed by the Soros Foundations Network,the Spanish foundation FRIDE (La Fundación paralas Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior),the Bulgarian Communitas Foundation, the ItalianUniCredit group, the Stiftung Mercator and StevenHeinz. ECFR works in partnership with otherorganisations but does not make grants to individualsor institutions.
 
 THE NEWPOLITICAL GEOGRAPHY OF EUROPE
edited by Nicholas Waltonand Jan Zielonka
The European Council on Foreign Relations does not takecollective positions. This paper, like all publications of the European Council on Foreign Relations, represents onlythe views of its authors.

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